tv Maine Senate Debate CSPAN October 29, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
a senate raceine. this is their second debate. this hour-long debate is courtesy of the maine public broadcasting your vote 2014. the united states senate debate. there coming to you from theater on the campus of husson university in bangor. the debate will feature broad discussions and a lightning round.
the republican candidate is incumbent u.s. senator susan collins. democratic candidate is shenna the former executive director of the american civil liberties union. she has not held elective office. welcome to you both. in the first segment, we are going to tackle broad topics. devote 4-5g to minutes to each topic. we hope you will articulate your position as well as your differences with each other. shenna, the number one concern of our listeners and viewers is people are concerned about e'sn's economy -- main economy and jobs. what will you do to improve the economy and jobs? >> thank you for hosting this. it is wonderful to be here in
bangor. 350 walked across maine, issue thatnumber one people said was jobs and the economy. i walked three miles. a farmer talked about investment in infrastructure. heells heirloom potatoes -- acrosseirloom potatoes the country, but it takes him 20 minutes to get online. he said if we had broadband access, people like him could grow their businesses. people could connect with the bal economy. infrastructure is number one. tax and fair an regulatory environment. >> what will you do to create
better paying jobs? >> i talked to employers all over the state. i find there are jobs available, difficultthere is a time finding the employees that have the skills and education needed for those jobs. nationwide, about a third of the unemployment rate is due to that gap in skills. i have been a strong supporter of a bill which got incorporated which would bring together employers, employees, educational institutions, local jobsorces to identify the of today and tomorrow. and the skills and education needed to ensure our workers have the skills they need. that is something where the federal government can be very
helpful. you can to go into a machinists shop in the state and not find that they have vacancies. those are good jobs with benefits and pay. i have also found that businesses are hoping for certainty any tax code and regulatory policy. we have incentives on one year and off the next. that keeps small businesses from investing and hiring. we need transportation improvements in the state. i am fortunate to be the ranking republican on the transportation appropriations subcommittee. i have been able to secure some in grants to refurbish our railroads, roads,
and ports. i also agree with my opponent that we do need to invest in broadband. that is important in terms of allowing businesses to locate in rural maine. one of the areas where i am most trucks ontoting the the interstates and out of downtown street and country roads. that has allowed businesses to ship products more efficiently. increase safety. lower energy use. it has reduced emissions. >> moving onto a topic important to businesses and homeowners, energy costs. maine is the most oil dependent state in the nation. it is very expensive or
prohibitive for many people to heat their homes. this question goes to you, senator collins. tot policies will you pursue reduce the cost of burden? >> this has been a problem for our state. one of the policies i have pursued in washington is making sure we are increasing investment in energy efficiency programs and weatherization. i have been a supporter of the low income heating assistance program which has supported many families, help them stay warm in the winter. betterization is a investment because it prevents the heating dollars from going out. the uninsulated doors and walls. i believe we need to get more natural gas into the state.
there is a real bottleneck with the pipelines we need to get natural gas from pennsylvania, thee it is plentiful, into state of maine to help manufacturers as well as residents. that would make a big difference in our energy costs, particularly electricity. finally, we need to pursue alternative energy. i am interested in the deepwater offshore energy, the wind a consortium of private companies and the university have worked on. great promise. it helps create thousands of good paying jobs. ultimately, we could be a net exporter of energy to the east coast. shenna bellows, what is your energy strategy to relieve the high cost burden?
>> we need bold visionary investment in renewable energy to reduce long-term cost. to tackle climate change now, which is a real threat to our state and country. we should be investing in solar, geothermal, title, wind, and biomass. solar, for example, germany is a world leader. there is less usable solar sunlight falling on germany. inne could be a world leader renewable energy. that would reduce energy costs in the long run. obama's affordable care been in place for about a year. we have seen the exchanges and work -- at work and a supreme court decision, affirming the
legality. shenna bellows, do you support the act? >> i support universal health care for all. should strengthen and expand the affordable care act to cover more people. we can do that by gradually lowering the medicare eligibility age. by medicaid expansion, which susan has vetoed five times. when he to fix the provisions of the affordable care act that have created a burden for individuals and small businesses. we can move toward universal health care for all. home health care nurse sees we cannd what happens -- do that with universal health care. >> you mentioned maine opting out of the expansion of medicare -- medicaid, excuse me.
as senator, would you push to make that mandatory, that states expand? >> i would push for unicode parcel -- universal medicaid expansion. run if money in the long we expand primary health care access for all. >> susan collins, do you support changing the affordable care act? >> i do support changing the affordable care act. i think there was a real missed opportunity here. there are a lot of health care that both republicans and democrats embrace. for example, both hearties are for prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions. both parties are for tax credits for small businesses to make it easier for them to afford .nsurance
both parties are for letting young people, which comprise the largest group of the uninsured, olicies their parents' p until age 26. unfortunate that it devolved into such a person debate when there were some any issues we could have worked on together. there are some provisions i think are particularly problematic. in some cases, it has led to fewer choices. i have heard from families in maine who no longer are able to go to the physician may have used their whole lives because network ofde of the plans available under obamacare. i have seen higher premiums for small businesses and higher co-pays and adoptable's. -- and it deductibles. been -- there have
been billions of dollars in additional fees and taxes imposed by the law, not to mention the money taken out of medicarefunded to pay for it. i have introduced bipartisan bills to change the law. one has to do with the definition of a full-time worker. the definition of a full-time worker has always been 40 hours a week. under obamacare, it is 30 hours a week to read the result of that has been felt in bangor. the superintendent says she has to cap the number of hours a week that substitute teachers can teach because otherwise they are going to have to come into the system and be covered by obamacare. think about that. that means they are getting lower paychecks. the students are having a revolving door of substitutes.
i don't that is good policy. is going to create confusion when it goes fully into effect. bill thatipartisan would change the definition back to 40 hours a week. even the president has indicated there have been problems in the area. the other problem is that there employerate that an with 50 or more employees have ifcomply with all the -- they are at 48 or 49 employees, they are never going to hire that 50th employee. because they don't want to have to deal with all of the mandates and paperwork that come with obamacare. >> susan collins, do you support president obama's current
policies to deal with isis and other groups? if not, what should u.s. policy be? >> i support some of the president's policies. putting together a coalition including arab nations in the region to fight isis and other groups was a good approach. where i have some concerns about the president's policy, and i have talked to him directly about this, is whether he is going to be able to have a successful vetting of the so-called moderate syrian opposition. three years ago, we could identify who were the moderates in the syrian opposition to the assad regime. now, the opposition is infiltrated. i am worried some of the training equipment and arms will end up in the hands of isis.
i think the president was too slow to come up with a policy to confront isis. isis is not the only threat we face. al qaeda in the arabian parents peninsula is considered most likely to launch an attack on our homeland. that is very worrisome. that is where al qaeda's chief bomb maker is. we also have a group in egypt. we have seen a proliferation of terrorist groups. they are now operating in 20 countries. i think the president's reassurances to us that he has estimated core al qaeda have turned out unfortunately not to be the case. >> shenna bellows, do you
support president obama's current policies? what do you support and not support about that? >> isis did not exist in its current form prior to the presidentf iraq under bush, which susan voted for. a are seeing the product of misguided policy, a war that cost us over $1 trillion and sent troops in harms way. we are less safe today than we were a decade ago. she voted with the republicans. it was a bipartisan effort but it was wrong. unfortunately, we do see the dangerous and barbaric rights of isis. i don't think the right approach is arming the syrian rebels. groups whose goals we do not share. from abi opponents in five years our0 -- who may be
opponents in five years or 10. 20 get was irresponsible for susan to vote to authorize arming the rebels and the airstrikes. it has strengthened the hand of the assad regime, which has not traditionally been an ally. i think we need a more targeted and strategic approach to foreign policy. president obama showed the way when he did what president bush failed to do. when he killed osama bin laden and significantly weakened al qaeda with a targeted and strategic special forces operation. that is the kind of foreign policy we need. i think we are in the wrong track. we are continuing down this path toward overseas wars we cannot afford that make our country less safe. >> we do like to respond -- would you like to respond? >> you guessed correctly i would like to respond. isis is just al qaeda and iraq
by another name. -- al qaeda in iraq by another name. sophistication. just because it changed its name does not mean it did not exist. this violent islamic extremist was reflected in the attacks on the world trade center in 1993. in the bombings in africa of two of our embassies intends any a. -- in tanzania. and in nairobi. and the horrendous terrorist attacks in 2001. which claim in nearly 3000 lives. all of those clearly preceded the iraq war. this is law make
extremist ideology -- to say that this extremist ideology developed in the wake of the war in iraq is wrong. >> that is not what i said. what i said, is that it was a mistake to arm islamic extremists in the middle east. the products that is of the wrong foreign policy. susan has been in office 18 years and backed overseas military intervention again and again. it has cost taxpayers over $1 trillion that we could have invested here. >> people are very nervous about the ebola outbreak, whether it may spread in the u.s. and how horrible it can get in africa. in ministries and doing enough to combat the
spread of the disease both in the u.s. and africa? obama administration doing enough to combat the spread of the disease both in the u.s. and africa? is to stopneed to do the epidemic where it is in west africa with an increase in aid to countries in west africa. what we do not need is a travel ban like my opponent suggested. experts say it would make us less safe by limiting the ability to get relief to west africa. the ability to monitor travel back to this country. the lack of preparedness now that the main state nurses association and nurses across the country are talking about, that is a direct result of republican votes for sequestration.
a bill that susan voted for has undermined funding for the cdc ih.the director said they were not able to develop the ebola funding and with the funding, they might have -- the ebola vaccine and the the funding, they might have been been able toout -- develop the vaccine. yoursan collins, what is ideal response to the ebola outbreak? >> it has to be a comprehensive approach. we do need to increase preparedness at our hospitals. requestedent additional funding, which i strongly supported read which we voted on right before we adjourned.
my opponent has said she would have opposed the bill that included that funding that was essential to fight the ebola crisis. we also need to establish regional centers to treat people with ebola in this country. it is not feasible to expect each one of the 5000 hospitals in this country to have the resources, the expertise, the gear, the know-how to deal with this epidemic. i support a limited travel ban from the three african countries rn africa most affected with an exception for health-care workers and aid workers. we don't want to turn our back on africa, but my first priority is to protect americans.
just yesterday, the obama traveltration announced restrictions, saying people with travel originating in those countries could only arrived at five american airports where they would be carefully screened. i want to tell you what the president said about that. press secretary said president obama changed his view on travel restrictions after hearing from scientists and other experts. the scientists and experts recommended to the president that he put these restrictions in place. i am glad he did. today, the administration went further and said officials -- individuals coming from these
countries should be monitored by the federal government for 21 they do not sure have this highly contagious disease. until this epidemic is under control, i think the steps the resident has taken makes sense. >> i will let you respond. >> the american association of medical colleges wrote a letter a few weeks ago to senators. it says we need to get away from these short-term crises and invest in long-term public health. the bill that passed just before session was an emergency bill to army syrian rebels and engage in airstrikes. i said i'm concerned about
arming syrian rebels. i think what we need instead is instead of republican obstructionism, which got us the sequester that underfunded the cdc, we need to be more strategic and visionary. invest in the public health system, not just in a crisis but over time. >> would you like to respond? includedll we passed $88 million to fight this crisis. she said very clearly on her website that she would have voted against it. in addition, the administration has said the funding the cdc had was adequate to deal with this crisis. there have not been huge cuts in the cdc. nor in the agency which was created in the wake of the occurred incks that 2001.
both have been adequately funded, according to the administration's own experts. >> we will try to squeeze in one more question. susan collins, congress is likely to tackle immigration reform soon. what are your views on whether the system needs to change? system isigration clearly broken. i support comprehensive immigration reform. we wentfore the recess, to the southern border where we talked with teenagers and children coming across the border. more than 60,000 of them have arrived in this country from central america. that clearly shows we do not have good control of our border. so we need to have strong border
control. plan toneed to have a deal with the 12 million people who are here illegally. it is not practical to somehow round them up and ship them back to their home countries. do isk what we need to distinguish between those who stood in line and got here legally versus those who came here illegally. that is why i have supported the immigration reform bill that required them to be -- requires them to pay their taxes, pay a fine, learn english. a series of requirements before they would be allowed to stay and eventually work toward citizenship. >> my grandparents are immigrants. my grandpa came from france.
he went to college and started his own business, became an entrepreneur. my grandmother came from scotland. i think it is important, we are a nation of immigrants. we can agree the system is broken. we need comprehensive reform to create a path to citizenship for people who come here for a better life to make america what it represents. >> that end is the first section. we will be right back after a short break. debate back to the between senate candidates susan collins and shenna bellows. you ort section features questions. questions from members of the public who send them in by e-mail. the first will go to you, she nna. h policylay out whic
changes you would make to medicare and how you would propose making social security sullivan so my generation can have the same benefits our parents do? >> this is such an important question. we need to strengthen and expand medicare and social security. i have proposed scrapping the cap on social security. than $117,000more a year stop pain in. if we scrap the cap, we will have more revenue. it will strengthen social security for the future. lead to allow medicare to negotiate drug prices and lower costs. we need to lower the eligibility age to expand access for all. >> susan collins? make social
security solvent? >> this is one of the most important social programs. it has made the difference between poverty and an adequate standard of living for so many americans. the fact is, it is going broke. the disability trust fund will be out of money in two years. 2033, social security will only be able to pay about 75% of the benefits due. we have to take a comprehensive look at social security. i am not for increasing the tax rate, which is 6.2% for individuals. i think that would be very burdensome for working families and small businesses. i agree we should take a look at the tax cap. it used to be that the tax cap covered 83% of wages.
wages -- its 83% of used to cover 93% of wages. and now covers 83% of wages. >> there has not been a congressional budget for five years or so. these tell us what you plan to do about this failure to take care of business -- please tell us what you plan to do about this failure to take care of business. >> we finally did get a budget negotiated by democrats in the senate. and a republican in the house, paul ryan. but the listener was right, it was years since we had a budget. that is one reason the debt has climbed to $17 trillion. most people could not imagine operating without a budget. we are not setting priorities. i think that is a real problem.
i would bring people together. we should have a budget by march 15 of every year. that would help guide the appropriations process. tot is the best way for us set priorities and make sure we are keeping within the budget cap. bellows, the question is whether you would bring parties together to work on a revision of the tax code. >> yes. tax policies favor the wealthiest individuals and corporations at the expense of working families. hashe last 18 years susan been in office, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. we can build a coalition, just as i did in the american civil liberties union. we can build a bipartisan coalition of around common ground and common principles to create a text code that is more
americans.king and also to create a budget that focuses priorities on investing in local communities and jobs and education and health care. stop spending so much money on overseas wars, surveillance programs we cannot afford, and on the criminal justice system which is out of control. that is what i would do to bring our policies more in line with the needs of working families. i wouldhird question -- love to hear the opinions on the millions of dollars being spent andboth the senate race gubernatorial race by national parties, especially when mainers are going hungry. going campaign system is program. we have a congress of billionaires and millionaires. people like me do not run for federal office very often.
we need to overturn citizens united because corporations are not people. susan was wrong when she voted against because additional amendment to overturn citizens united. we needed a public financing system, just like we have here in maine. so working people can run for office and lead in washington. we need stronger disclosure laws. right now, a lot of the television ads, nobody knows who is paying for them because of the flood of dark money. susan voted against the disclose act twice. those are three things we can do to reform the system. i will fight to reform the system. it is broken. in my campaign, i am proud that we have not taken any corporate tax money. susan has taken over $1.9 million. the majority of our contributions are from small dollar donors. collins, what is your
opinion? >> there is too much money spent on campaigns. shenna, contrast to every single adult i have run has been positive. i think that is what the state deserves. not negative ads that disport -- distort my record. she brought up the constitutional amendment i opposed. it is opposed by her former boss, the aclu, because they warned it would open the doors for government regulation of free speech. it would have many unintended consequences. whilerly, the aclu shenna was working for them, also opposed the disclose act.
it was unfair and exempted some organizations altogether. that is not fair to request the fourth question is from clayton. -- >> that is not fair. >> the fourth question is from clayton. there are many farmers markets in maine. when was the last time you shop at one? >> the last time was in early september. market in downtown bangor, across the street from the library. it is set up every sunday. it has wonderful, fresh produce. weref the things i bought multicolored carrots. i had never seen anything other than orange carrots before. those aseat fun to buy
well as fresh beats and let us. beets and lettuce. i also bought blueberries, which i made a blueberry buckle with. i would be happy to share the recipe. i joke that i ate my way across maine when i walked 350 miles. we walked through farmers markets in waterville, farms. i love blueberries. i also love cherry tomatoes. those are my favorite purchases at farmers markets. shop regularlyi at farmers market and also the apple orchard where we live now.
my husband was at the farmers market last week. >> this is the chance for you to ask each other questions. we will try to control this. each of you has 20 seconds for the question, and a minute for an answer. shenna bellows, you have a chance to ask susan collins a question. >> -- >> as you know, i voted against obamacare. i have explained why. there were other ways we could have gotten to health care reform. at this point, now that the law has been in place, i believe we should try to fix the most egregious flaws. i don't think outright appeal would go anywhere. the president would veto it. rather than sending the president a bill that would surely be vetoed, i believe we
should try to fix the numerous problems with obamacare. contrary to what you have been saying, i have never been for repealing obama care. i have always said it should be replaced by a better approach. >> a chance for a rebuttal. >> i read the obamacare repeal act. it said obamacare should be repealed. you are at an original cosponsor. have you removed your name? >> let me explain the way this works. i have a series of bills and proposals i have put forth that i have advocated for four years. tax credits for people who are self-employed so they could afford health insurance. tax cuts and tax credits for small businesses.
the bill on the 30 hour work week in the employer mandate. you have to look at the whole record. i would be happy to provide you with more information on those you can go back and read my floor statement i made in 2008 when the obamacare bill passed. >> you have a chance to ask shenna bellows a question. >> you have endorsed increased spending in at least 15 programs that already add up to trillions of dollars in spending over the xt five years. you have proposed expansions and the fact thatte that program has financial lems.
you have also proposed asa.easing programs like now t using to be saying your approach to foot thexpayers bill as the federal government tries to spend its way out of most problems. we are already settling the next generation with enormous debt. we are on our way to having have a trillion dollars in debts -- having a half trillion dollars in debt. >> in 18 years, it is this congress, with the war in iraq, tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, that has left us with this debt. oat has mortgage are young -- future. people's
i have proposed an investment in broadband that we could pay for ande cut surveillance reduced spending on incarceration. proposed scrapping the cap so the wealthiest americans pay their fair share and we can increase benefits for seniors. i have proposed reducing the interest rates on student loans and paying for it on a financial transaction tax for people making money on wall street and not paying any taxes. we need a different approach. don't say that this congress or leadership has been responsible. >> first of all, if you confiscated all of the income that everyone who makes a million dollars or more in this tontry has, it would amount $938 billion.
if you took every penny, not just increased taxes. that does not begin to cover the increased spending that you are proposing. cuts in military spending at a time when the obama and it -- the obama administration has cut spending by $800 million would be foolhardy. >> you have said you voted against raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour because that is too much. you have proposed nine dollars an hour. how would you feed a family on $18,000 a year? >> clearly that is not a livable wage. i am curious what you think a livable wage would be if you think a minimum wage should produce a livable wage. it would have to be higher than $10.10 an our.
i support increasing the minimum wage. because the independent congressional budget office said itwe go with a 40% increase, would cost error economy -- cost the economy 500,000 jobs. those are largely jobs held by low income people. i don't think that is the answer. henna mentioned 13 states increased their minimum wage. not one has gone to $10. rhode island increased it -- >> would you like to rebut? >> 13 states raised the minimum wage this year and saw jobs grow. more than states that did not raise the minimum wage. the scareactics --
tactics are simply not borne out by the evidence. there is something deeply wrong when members of congress make $174,000 a year and think $10.10 an hour is too much. i have talked to small businesses. they say they pay their employees more than the minimum wage. >> thank you. susan collins, you can ask shenna bellows a question. >> let me say that two thirds of the individuals making the minimum wage get an increase within that year. 25% of those who make the minimum wage are teenagers. i'm going to turn to your support for a government run single-payer health care system like canada and great britain have. coming toe canadians maine for cancer treatments because in canada, you have to
wait on average two months for an mri. scan.ole month for a cat months for necessary treatment after you have been referred to a specialist. nine months to get a joint replacement. canada ranks higher for mortality due to cancer than the u.s. support an is why you single-payer government to run washington system when we see people from canada coming here for treatment? >> i support universal health care for all because i believe health care is a human right. if we invest in health care and prevention, in primary care, we will see better long-term outcomes. less disease and less mortality.
like canada and europe do have better health care outcomes. they are spending less money. the inflation of health care costs in this country and the level of medical bankruptcies is out of control. bankruptcies in canada? zero. that is because there is basic health care for all to read we have a government run system called medicare. it is working quite well. >> go ahead, susan collins. there is a difference between universal access to health care, which is a goal we all embrace, aving a government run single-payer system.
there is a reason that in great britain, an individual diagnosed with prostate cancer has only a 50-50 chance of surviving beyond five years. in our country, it is 91%. >> we had to take a break we will be back. the debatek to between the candidates for u.s. senate. the next round is the lightning round. these are questions meant to be answered with one or two words. yes or no. maybe a whole sentence but no more three do you support the referendum?ting >> i have never taken positions referendums. >> shenna bellows? >> no. would you support allowing tar sands oil to pass through a pipeline in maine? >> yes.
i want to make sure i understand. are you talking about the main montreal? i believe there needs to be a full environmental study to answer that question. >> shenna bellows? know, and i also oppose the keystone pipeline. >> you support federal funding for amtrak? >> yes. yes -- >> yes. >> do you agree with a woman's right to choose? >> yes. >> yes. >> should local law enforcement agencies be allowed to use surveillance drones? think that is a local and state issue. what i can to you i have done at the federal level is require justifications from the at the use of
drones for surveillance at the federal level. >> i led the effort to place checks and balances on the use nt themes to preve for surveillance. >> should the u.s. reduce the number of oteri basis? >> -- military bases? >> no. >> no. >> you support grants for education? -- higher education? >> yes. >> absolutely. >> should the federal government legalize medical marijuana for medicinal purposes? >> yes. >> from medicinal purposes only. should they require the
labeling of medicinal purposes? >> probably. >> yes. susan was wrong when she voted against -- >> you support the proposal that would allow internet access based on the ability to pay? we are talking about net neutrality. >> no. we need to maintain the ability to access the internet. >> we should not be allowing internet providers to favor some content over others. >> i know the audience loves the lightning round but we are out of time. closing statements. each candidate will have one minute. susan collins, you will go first. >> for a state of just over one aine haspeople, mn
elected remarkable senators. they represented different parties but they had a to debate. bipartisan compromise. and a better life for the people of the state. i have worked hard to each and every day since i was elected to uphold this proud tradition. when government shutdown last year, i put together a coalition of seven republicans, six democrats, and we hammered out a compromise that led to the reopening of government. that is how government can and should work. that is the approach i want to continue to take. i ask for your vote on november 4. >> shenna bellows? >> this race is more than just
policy differences between susan and me, although those are significant. this is about two different visions for the future. my sister is putting her three kids to bed while their father serves overseas in kuwait. i think about the dangers might brother-in-law faces overseas -- my brother-in-law faces overseas. what kind of world are we leaving for my nieces and nephews? we cannot afford republican gridlock or to pretend things are ok. things are not ok when thousands of workers are without jobs. things are not ok when student debt exceeds $1 trillion. things are not ok when climate change is hurting farms and fisheries. a vote for susan is a vote for republican control in washington. if you share my concerns and hopes we can do better, that we must do better, than i ask for
your vote on november 4. >> thank you very much to both candidates for appearing in taking part in the debate. and thank you for the partners in this production, the new england school of communication. thank you for joining us. all the debates will be rebroadcast several times between now and election day. and of course, join us for full election night coverage november 4 and the following day. we hope you will take the time to vote. thank you for joining us.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> on the next washington journal, a look at the role president obama has played in the midterm elections. state of manufacturing in the u.s.. paul.l talk with scott washington journal begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> with the 2014 midterm election next week, the campaign debate coverage continues. on thursday night, the
governor's debate for illinois. at 9:00, the new york governor's debate. then at 10:00, the new hampshire senate debate. on8:00 p.m. eastern, c-span2, the new hampshire governors debate. at 9:00, the oregon governor's debate. and at 10:00, the south dakota senate debate between four candidates. c-span campaign 2014. more than 100 debates for the control of congress. the texas senate race where encumber it -- incumbent john cornyn faces a challenge.
for the rest of the night, it is prohibited to applaud or make noise. the questions for the candidates will be asked by our panelists. pedro rojas, national correspondent for univision. the rules are the following. each candidate has two minutes for an opening statement. and more for a closing statement. each answer and rebuttal will have a maximum duration of one minute. if a candidate surpasses this time, the bill will ring. -- bell will ring. i hope i do not have to use it. we will start. with the introductory message.
thank you for being here tonight. thank you to mountain view for foring us and univision this discussion of the issues confronting our state and nation. thank you for the privilege of representing the 26 million people for the state. texas has become a model for governance and the policies that promote strong job growth, a booming economy, and people seeking their dreams. we know by way of background, for those of you who do not know me well, i was born in houston. my father served 31 years in the air force. i grew up in san antonio, and went to school in san antonio, and then ran for and was elected as a district judge in san antonio.
i served on the texas supreme court, where we dug with many issues like public education and access to quality education. i served as attorney general for four years where we don't with many important issues. collecting child support for 1.2 million low income children. we know that washington is broken. we -- you don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that. the dysfunction in washington does not serve the interests to have people of our state or the people of america. what we need is new leadership in a new direction. we don't need people who'll go to washington and support the status quo. the obstruction of the majority leader and the policies of the president. the president has made this very clear, what this election is about. he said his name may not be on the ballot but his policies will be on the ballot. i look forward